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 Versailles 2001

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Mimosa Harrington

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PostSubject: Versailles 2001   Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:24 pm

The following months were some of the hardest and busiest of Vanessa’s life. Seven months were not enough to organize a wedding of the caliber a Clement wedding should be but with Grandmere’s authority, unlimited funds and some impressive feats of magic, it was coming together. Much like the onyx and diamond ring that rested permanently on the future Lady Clément’s finger, the ceremony too was designed to showcase the might and traditions of House Clement. Instead of choosing the many ostentatious venues in and around Paris, the witch had decided on a ceremony within the palace grounds with a carriage ride in and around Paris and Versailles afterwards, making a special stop at the gardens that used to be called “Downriver” in the sixteen hundreds. Nearly four hundred years ago, Lord Thomas Clement, the first of his name, had married a girl from Downriver and marked the ceremony among her own people. History would repeat itself come summer with the latest Lord Clement paying homage to his ancestors with his new Lady Wife.

The team of wedding planners scurrying in and out of the palace leading up to the wedding resembled fussing mothers and fathers, worried about flowers, food, seating, invitations and the hundreds of other things that would need managing on the day. Vanessa’s own choice of flowers had been Dahlias mixed with sprigs of Irises, the Fleur de Lis just as important as any traditional aspect of the wedding. Her gown was a creation of lace, tulle and beads masterminded by three of France’s top seamstresses and designers with various other experts weighing in on chiffon ratios and creasing charms. The designs had grown difficult when the makers of the gown realized the standards to which they were being held.

And through it all, Vanessa made sure to visit her aunt at least once every week, usually on Fridays.

After Aunt Lynnette’s outburst back in December, no one had gone to see her. No one had wanted to, Vanessa imagined. And yet she knew how much it pained Louis to understand the depths of his mother’s hatred. The witch herself had always known where she stood with the current Lady Clement; it had been painfully obvious since childhood. Louis though loved his Maman, and had wanted his Maman to love him in return. As he wept into her shoulder the night of the confrontation, Vanessa made a promise to herself.

She would avenge his grief, and she would do it the Clement way.

The next day she had found the maid responsible for taking meals up to her aunt’s withdrawing room and had firmly taken the silver tray from the girl’s hand, walking up the flights of stairs to where her aunt remained confined these days. Knocking politely, Vanessa had entered and placed the tray in front of her soon to be mother in law, only to have the food flung at her. Vanessa had expected nothing less, simply brushing the crumbs of her dress and taking a seat opposite Lynnette Clement, asking how her day was.

The second time she had brought her aunt the evening meal, much the same had transpired. The third and fourth time, the older witch had refused to eat or acknowledge Vanessa but at least she was no longer throwing food. It was on her fifth visit that her aunt had asked her through narrowed eyes “What do you want?”

“To show you that I am not the enemy, Maman,” Vanessa replied softly, her grey eyes meeting her aunt’s brown ones. “Louis and I have never meant anyone in this house harm, nor do we plan to in future.”

“I am not your Maman,” Lynnette replied coldly, the distaste clear in her voice.

“No, but you will be soon. And you deserve the respect that comes with the position.” She had left it at that, attempting to make idle chit chat for the hour. Her next visit had gone little better but this time, at least Aunt Lynnette was listening. On her seventh visit, she brought along fabric samples for the arch designs, asking her soon to be good mother’s opinion on colors and textures. At first it appeared that the older witch had no opinion, but after forty minutes of pressing, Lynnette begrudgingly admitted that she would choose the soft blues to match well with the Dahlias. The breakthrough had almost made Vanessa want to cry.

The next day, Aunt Lynnette had surprised everyone by coming down to lunch with the rest of the family. For the first time since Dominic’s death, his mother was seen sporting a splash of color even if on a still largely black gown. She had sat beside Uncle Thomas, spoken little and eaten even less but her eyes were no longer full of hate, just a quiet sheen of defeat. Dominic was gone, Louis was now the heir and Vanessa would soon replace her. The younger witch’s kindness had made it almost illogical to hate her and Louis… When all was said and done, he was her blood.

The visits continued, the preparations were in full swing, Vanessa’s final fitting had resulted in a loose sleeve and the designer whimpering in the corner at the thought of what Grandmere would say. Knowing that the story would leak out eventually, Vanessa had simply smiled and told the designer to fix it while she occupied Grandmere with other things. The man had looked at her as if she was descended from the heavens before getting back to work. The whole city was decked for the wedding, not simply the palace. Local eateries and bars had started giving way free food and drink the week before the wedding, a gesture from the soon to be newlyweds or not being able to personally invite everyone to the palace. An official holiday was declared on the day itself and banners of House Clement decorated the streets, shops and billboards around Versailles. Magical and Muggle communities alike talked of nothing but the wedding in the weeks leading to it while newspapers ran story after story about House Clement and its roots, its holdings and its line of succession. Foreign dignitaries began to arrive, bringing with them a flurry of reporters, rivals and mistresses, boosting the economy considerably for the short duration of their stay.

And through it all, Vanessa continued visiting her aunt, to even the Lady Clément’s bewilderment. The night before the wedding, the grey eyed witch found herself once again in her aunt’s withdrawing room, sipping a cup of tea thoughtfully, her usual chatter forgotten in favor of nerves over the ceremony tomorrow. At first, Lynnette took no notice but after a while, even she was forced to acknowledge the silence.

“You seem preoccupied.”

“I can’t help but wonder if you’ll be at the wedding, Maman,” the younger brunette replied honestly, putting down her cup to look at the witch opposite her. Aunt Lynnette was a lot healthier now then she had been last winter. Regular meals and a dedicated personal handmaiden had ensured her complexion was healthy, her cheekbones filled out slightly and the sheen returned to her hair. Of course she would never be the Aunt Lynnette of her childhood but perhaps this was the next best thing.

“You know I don’t have a choice, your Grandmere is not in the habit of giving options.”

Vanessa shook her head; this was just more proof that her mother in law had never really understood her own mother in law. “Regardless, I wish for you to be there of your own violations, Maman. Louis and I both do.”

“Why?” This time, the question came out as a frustrated plea for explanation. Why was Vanessa doing this? Why did she not gloat? What need had she of an old, irrelevant woman whom she would soon replace?

“Because I want our children to respect their Grandmere,” the younger witch explained, keeping her eyes on her aunt’s. “And they will not do that if they sense a constant feud between their parents and grandparents. Clements stick together Maman, and I refuse to give up on you. Louis is your son, and I will always hold dear those he loves.”

The silence that ensued was one tinged with shame, shame that enveloped the older witch upon realizing that after all she had done, her son still loved her.

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles 2001   Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:55 pm

The evening after his Maman had interrupted their meeting with Grandmere, Louis had ignored his Grandmere's request to stay out of Vanessa's boudoir. He'd needed to be with her that evening simply to be able to talk through the thoughts in his head, and let out the emotions he was too afraid to deal with on his own. Vanessa knew how to let him break in to a thousand pieces when the world became too much, but she put him back together again so that no one could see the cracks.

The realisation that his Maman could not, and had not, loved him had been difficult to deal with, Louis would admit. But not nearly as hard as it could have been had he had to deal with it alone.

One night had been enough for Louis to deal with that, to feel the whirlwind of emotions that came with the loss. One night, and Louis had closed off that side of himself from being hurt by his Maman's words ever again. That was all Louis could ever push on to Vanessa, and more than he would allow himself to feel the pain of. From there, he'd shut out the thought of his Maman, and concentrated on the future.

That, of course, had not stopped his Grandmere from punishing him for visiting Vanessa, and had resulted in quite the Stinging Hex after breakfast the next morning.

Since then, Louis had been busy with Clement business, as usual. The current finances of the country, political issues in which the Clements could influence without many people knowing that they had done so, arranging the finances for the wedding before looking at the international well being of the Clement assets. Louis had been kept busy and away from the preparation of the wedding for the most part, but he didn't mind so much.

The day, after all, was for Vanessa to shine as she was welcomed in to the Clement home. Officially.

Louis trusted all of her decisions without a second thought, and did not worry in the slightest about the decisions she might make. There were, of course, a handful of decisions that Vanessa had brought to him, trivial ones to do with his preference on food, or which areas they should visit on their route around Versailles. Most of which simply required his agreement before Vanessa smiled happily knowing she had chosen correctly in the first place.

The wedding attire had been a small area of argument between Louis and his father. As a member of the French army, he would be entitled to wear his military finery on his wedding day. He'd be able to show the masses of France what they could aspire to be with the copious number of medals that would sit upon his chest. It would look impressive, to say the least. But his father had refused the idea on the notion that Louis had left the army without serving his full time. Wearing the uniform would only provoke questions from the masses, and Louis would not make a spectacle of himself in that manner.

Louis had, therefore, begrudgingly settled for the traditional wedding suit and endured the fittings of yet another suit that was so vastly similar to others he owned. It had to be perfect for the day, he supposed.

The day was coming around very fast, too, something Louis had been eternally grateful for. Living by his Grandmere's rule since the Stinging Hex had been a long, drawn out process. Louis was anticipating their wedding day not for the nuptials, not for the celebrations, but simply for the fact that on the evening of their wedding, Louis could wrap his arms around his wife, bring her close to his chest, and know that everything in the world was now exactly where it was supposed to be.

With the eve of the wedding arrived, Louis had left the Palace for one of the mansions on the other side of the city. Dresses were arriving, flowers being placed, bedrooms were being prepped, guests were being accommodated, food tested, the cake put on centre stage. Louis had been too scared of running in to Vanessa on the evening before, or the morning of the wedding, too scared to tempt fate to break them up, that he'd left the Palace entirely to avoid the possibility.

As the evening drew to a close, his Papa arrived. They both sat quietly with a bourbon in the withdrawing room of the mansion, neither one speaking as Louis looked in to the unlit fire with a look of deep thought on his features.

How would Vanessa look in the white gown? It would be white, Louis had been convinced of that much.

What would the wedding gown that she'd chosen look like?

Would he manage to contain his emotions when he saw her? The world would be watching...

"You're ready for tomorrow?" Thomas asked, pulling Louis away from his thoughts to focus on his father. The small grimace was enough to bring a small, tight smile to his father's lips. "Your job is the easiest." Thomas added, as if this might be some consolation. Louis offered no response, instead sipping at his drink as his eyes drifted back to the fireplace.

The two small boxes that were set before Louis a moment later brought his eyes away from the fire once more. The Clement crest sat neatly atop the boxes, as if this was necessary, and Louis didn't have to ask what was inside.

"Thomas and Lissette, the first of their names, rings for tomorrow. They've been necessarily altered, polished, and readied for the nuptials. I trust that you need no further information." Thomas explained, straight to the point as always before he stood up and left his son to ponder over the rings that were of such high value to the family, and the day that was coming in merely a few hours.

***

Sleep did not come for Louis that evening. No matter how he tried, excitement riddled his body like a boy of five excited for his birthday, or Christmas. Louis' sleep was minimal at best, and by the time the sun had risen through the curtains, he'd given up on trying to sleep. A run of the grounds had cleared his head before he'd showered and dressed for the day. His stomach was doing front flips, back flips and every kind of roll in the imagination as he straightened his tie once more. Unnecessary as it was.

Staff came, staff went, all bringing the necessary information and things Louis would need. The rings were sent to the ring bearer, the button holes in the flower choice Vanessa had made to each male in the inner circles of the wedding. An hour before the nuptials, Louis had been brought back to the Palace ready to marry the woman he'd always intended to marry. Ten years late, but better late than never.

The bustle of the castle was ten times worse than Louis could imagine, no one able to stop for a moment as they moved the guests to their seats, readied the orchestra for Vanessa's walk of the aisle. Making sure the photographers were correctly positioned and the flowers looked remarkable to everyone who could see.

With twenty minutes to go before Ven's entrance, Louis was escorted to the altar that had been erected in the grounds. Louis had been left with only a handful of men within the family, but he knew that, now, he could not look back towards the Palace. To look back now would be to throw away tradition, and he simply could not, and would not do that.

The talking of the guests grew steadily louder as Louis waited, making idle chat with a distant relative as he tried to ignore the painful twists of nerves in his stomach. There was no doubt in Louis' mind that Vanessa would come, but he was so very excited about seeing her, of naming her his wife, that his body was reacting in a manner he'd never known it to. Letting out a slowly shaky breath, Louis noted the way the crowd's noise shifted. Faltered. Died away.

The sound of the orchestra took over in that moment, making him feel giddy with anticipation.

Vanessa Jhalak Clement.

A few moments, that was all, and their childhood dreams would come true.

Louis bit the inside of his lip softly in that moment. The light prickle of tears were threatening his eyes as he stood, facing away from his childhood sweetheart, waiting for her to join him at the front of the ceremony. But even that action could not stop the smile that touched his lips. It could not deplete the sheer look of excitement and love in his eyes.

This is it, Louis thought to himself in that moment. This is when my life begins.

___________________________________________

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles 2001   Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:07 pm

The day of the wedding dawned crisp and clear, as if the very skies were on their best behavior in anticipation for what was to come. Exotic birds that had been flown from all over the world decorated the palace grounds, adding a softly musical quality to their natural chirping courtesy of trainers who had worked with them for hundreds of hours. Clusters of fairies dotted the maze gardens, giving the shrubbery a soft glow and making the venue appear even more magical than it was. The teams of extra household staff taken on for the occasion rushed to and fro, attending to guests, children, the food, the gifts, the special requests, the managing of brooms, horses and Muggle vehicles. At one point, Vanessa overheard a maid regaling her fiend with tales of a stable boy getting beaten by a flying carpet, denoting that the Saudi royalty too had arrived for the occasion.

“Vanessa Jhalak,” Grandmere’s voice rang through the room an hour later, making the bride’s group of hair stylists and lady’s maids step back in fear. Truth be told Vanessa wasn’t quite ready yet, her veil still needed to be placed atop her head but Lissette Clement stopped in her tracks regardless, her sharp eyes evaluating the bride from head to toe. Grandmere would never smile, but at least her face softened somewhat, the harsh lines around her mouth and on her forehead lessening slightly. “The attire is lacking,” her grandmother informed the room at large, producing a velvet box from thin air and depositing it on the dressing table where Vanessa’s other accessories lay. The jewelry for today complimented both her engagement ring and House Clement colors, clusters of diamonds with the lone onyx nestles in the middle.

“Merci Grandmere,” the younger witch responded before reaching for the box and opening the catch delicately, only to reveal another family heirloom. The small tiara had belonged to Lady Claudia Noir, brought into the House upon her marriage to Lord Louis Clement the First. The historical trifecta of good fortune on a wedding was complete. Her ring had belonged to Grandmere, her tiara to Lady Claudia and the rings she and Louis would exchange perhaps the most important ornaments owned by the family, the original rings exchanged between Lord Thomas and Lady Lissette the Firsts almost four hundred years ago.

As if on cue, a stylist moved to reverently hold up the tiara, placing it on Vanessa’s soft brown hair and curling small tendrils around the diamond encrusted platinum accessory. Another stylist joined her with the veil that matched the length of her train, gently catching the soft netted material around the tiara so it flowed effortlessly behind the witch. The small carrying charm would ensure the veil stayed in perfect position no matter how the bride moved, even if the bride was used to walking with all the grace and formality that befitted her soon to be station. Vanessa Sheridan may not have been the next Lady Clement until that moment but she had been trained for it since birth, of this there was no doubt as she rose to her feet, ready for another evaluation by her Grandmere.

After what seemed like hours, the silver haired witch finally spoke. “Much better.” The room that had collectively been holding its breath sighed in relief.

“The men will arrive soon, I will see you at the ceremony,” Lissette Clement spoke in lieu of a good bye or good luck, but before she could leave, Vanessa hesitantly asked the question that had been on her mind since last night.

“Maman-“She was cut off by a sharp look thrown her way before Grandmere responded curtly.

“Lynnette Giselle is getting ready; she will be down to see you shortly before joining our guests. This time, the bride couldn’t help the smile that blossomed fully across her face. All those months had been worth it. Louis would have his Maman at his wedding. They would go forward with the greatest dynasty the world had ever seen. On their wedding day, this would be her small gift to the man she had given her life to so many years ago.

In the blink of an eye, Grandmere was gone and the fussing designers had descended one more, offering both praise and advise incoherently as they arranged and rearranged the fall of her gown, refining her silhouette again and again and checking to ensure each piece of jewelry adorned by the bride stayed in place via charms that did nothing to damage the historical trinkets. Finally, it was time to leave the room and wait in the small, closed off tent erected just for that reason as Louis and the rest of the bridal party walked down the aisle. Vanessa exited the room, the stylists in tow holding up her train and veil, making their way behind her to the grand staircase when she spotted Aunt Lynnette.

The most surprising thing about her mother in law was that she had completely disregarded black for the occasion, looking radiant in a pale yellow gown with exquisite gold embroidery. Classic gold jewelry completed the look. As their eyes met over the bannister, dark brown meeting warm grey, her good mother let slip a small, subtle smile.

A hesitant smile, one that feared lack of reciprocity.

Her fears were put to rest when Vanessa beamed, unable to contain her happiness on this day. No words were exchanged between the two as Lynnette hurried to find her seat but Vanessa had understood all she needed to from the meeting. It was a feat and a half to reach the tent without being spotted, helped along by the crowd that surrounded her but once Vanessa was on, she could draw a peaceful breath again.

“We’ll be leaving now M’lady, your Lord Father will be in shortly,” the head of the household announced, clearing the area and giving Vanessa more room to breathe. Soon, she would be walking down the aisle, even right now Louis was outside the flimsy walls of this pavilion, waiting for her. The idea made her feel as nervous as a schoolgirl complete with butterflies in her stomach.

“Candid shot of the bride,” a male voice rang through the tent, issued from a tall wizard in a rather commendable tuxedo standing at the opening, a camera covering his face. Vanessa frowned, the media was not allowed in here, not yet anyway. This man must have pulled some strings to get in. The witch opened her mouth to calmly order he remove himself from her presence when the camera lowered, revealing a familiar face.

“Kenneth.”

“Vanessa,” the American photographer smiled, his dark mahogany eyes full of good cheer. “Surprise?” he tried, laughing awkwardly at his own joke. Of course, the biggest wedding of the century and how had she thought he wouldn’t know. She hadn’t seen him in years and by the looks of it, her absence suited him well.

“What are you doing here, Kit?” the bride asked, her tone measured. No matter what had transpired between her and Kit Harrington, she knew him to be enough of a gentleman to not make a scene. She also knew she was very capable of incapacitating him on the spot if he tried.

“I couldn’t not come, I’m glad for you Vanessa,” the man replied seriously. “You seem happier than you’ve ever been with… him.” Of course, when he had known her, she wasn’t a whole person, she was simply a half and how could a half ever be wholly happy? It had taken them a year and a mistake to realize that but in the end; they had both agreed that she could no more be with him then stop breathing. And if it was simply the matter of breathing, theoretically she could have done that too. But whether Vanessa drew breath or not, Louis Clement would always be a part of her. “Let’s part as friends okay? Nine years ago didn’t go so well, but I’m different now… You’re different now.”

Vanessa contemplated the offer before inclining her head slightly at him. “Thank you for coming. I hope you find your happiness as I’ve found mine.” It was the most politically correct answer she could give.

“Oh I have,” Kit grinned, ducking his head outside for a minute and calling out “Hey sweetheart, you want to say hello to the pretty bride.” To Vanessa’s amazement, a little girl poked her head into the tent, a little girl with long brown hair and eyes the same shade of mahogany as her father’s.

“Hello pretty bride,” the girl spoke uncertainly, awed by the vision of beauty and finesse in front of her. Had Vanessa not spent a lifetime keeping her emotions in check, she would have cried at the sight of the small girl clutching a stuffed cactus close to her chest. One day, Vanessa would have to tell him the truth, but not today.

‘Excuse me young man,” her father’s voice interrupted the scene, his grey suit coming into view. “What are you doing here, this is the bride’s tent?”

“Oh, my apologies sir, I was lost,” Kit replied smoothly, taking his daughter’s hand and moving away, not to be spotted again throughout the ceremony.

“Ready darling?” her father smiled, offering her his arm as the music began outside. The ring bearer, the son of young Eleanor and Layton Murray walked with the rings, entirely too steady for a four year old, his cherubic face and dead serious expression winning the hearts of his audience in a trice. The flower girls followed, all twelve decked in each shade used to decorate the venue. The bridesmaids and groomsmen walked next, arm in arm to stand beside the groom who, Vanessa subtly crossed her fingers, would not look back. Not now.

And then it was her turn. The crowd felt silent as she emerged on her father’s arm, a vision in white floating down the aisle, her grey eyes trained on Louis’s back, almost as if reassuring him not to turn, she was almost there. It was only as they reached the altar, her father giving her a small kiss on the cheek and sliding her hand into Louis’ when the groom turned to finally look at her.

And the moment was perfect.  

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles 2001   Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:11 am

When the ceremony started, Louis could hear the small commotion -- the first sigh that came collectively from the crowd Louis assumed to be for the cute little ring bearer. Joshua Murray, all of four years old, had the cutest of features, but they were (from Louis' experience) always pulled in to a much too serious expression for a boy his age. The small blonde boy had likely pulled the heartstrings of many of the guests.

The flower girls would follow, and the sounds of cute titterings filled the space behind Louis. The commotion died away only a moment later, exchanged instead for soft whispers of praise at how the groomsmen and bridesmaids looked. The temptation to look was great, but Louis held firm as he waited, watching the man before him who would be leading the ceremony shortly.

It was the silence that fell across the lawns of the Palace that brought the prickling feeling of tears to the Clement heir's eyes. Vanessa's choice of wedding dress had stunned the crowd in to silence. Her beauty, Louis could imagine, was beyond anything the world would have seen before as she glided down the aisle with ease. The papers would write nothing except how flawless Vanessa was in tomorrow's paper.

Louis' eyes closed for a few moments, knowing that he needed to ground himself to stop himself from turning to look at the woman moving towards him. He could feel Vanessa's eyes on him in some other worldly manner. Just knowing when the witch was near, what she wanted from him, what he must do to make her happy.

His eyes opened again to focus on the flowers before him, but emotions were already running high, his vision blurred with the build up of tears that he tried to push away.

There was little time, though, Louis had barely composed himself when he felt Vanessa's hand in his own, the sign that now, after the long agonising wait for her to walk the aisle, he could look upon his bride without fear of the fates intervening. Turning slightly to the witch, Louis' eyes took in Vanessa as if he'd seen her for the first time. Louis could feel his lips moving in to such a fond smile, a single tear rolling off down his cheek as his dreams were realised.

For a moment, Louis stood, simply looking at the witch before him with love shining from his person. The photographers pounced on the moment, but Louis was not focused on anything except Vanessa.

"Tu es belle," Louis whispered for only Vanessa to hear. Everything else could wait as he turned back to facing the man conducting the ceremony -- Louis had not learned his name, it simply did not matter to him. The official readings of a Clement wedding were read to the people gathered, but Louis was barely listening to them, his eyes flickering to Vanessa so frequently that the noise around him was not registering. He simply could not believe that this day was happening.

The vows and expression of intent, Louis turned to Vanessa, and carefully lifted the veil away from her face before taking both of her hands. Giving them a soft squeeze, Louis readied himself for this bit, swallowing the lump of emotion threatening to make him not be able to complete the words. As the vow was read, asked of Vanessa if she would love and cherish, support him through sickness and health, and love him as long as they shall live, the witch's response of the two most poignant words in a marriage ceremony had Louis biting his lip to contain the emotions that were boiling over inside of him.

Louis' own 'I do' was so soft, it was a wonder that anyone other than Vanessa had heard it, but the ceremony kept moving even as Vanessa's thumb ran over his knuckles soothingly.

As the young Murray heir stepped forward with the rings, Louis took the ring for Vanessa and held it ready to her ring fingers. The extravagance of the seventeenth century ring glinting in the sunlight as Louis readied himself to repeat the words of the vow. He'd memorised them already, and he repeated them loud enough for the masses, but with the feeling for Vanessa.

"I, Louis Charles Philip Clement, take you, Vanessa Jhalak, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life." Louis echoed, wavering on the last line as tears threatened again, but Vanessa's smile urged him to finish with the strength of a Clement.

Vanessa's own recital of the vow had Louis beaming at her as she finished, barely able to keep himself from leaning forth and pressing a kiss to her lips. The masses believed them both to have been waiting, though, the strength of the house depended on their story, and Louis would not break it. Thomas Clement's, the first of his name, ring sat on Louis' ring finger now, the physical symbol that nothing, ever would now allow Vanessa and he to part.

"By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."

The kiss was not what Louis had been waiting for, no, the pronunciation of their marriage being real, of Vanessa being his wife had been all Louis had wanted that day. Everything else... was merely a show for the masses. Still, Louis gave a small pause, before leaning in and placing a small kiss on Vanessa's lips, holding it for a moment longer than necessary to be sure the cameras had their fill, before pulling away with a look of complete contentment on his lips.

Turning back towards the crowd, Louis looked out across the masses, his hand in Vanessa's as they allowed the moment for people to take them in. The future Lord and Lady Clement.

After, Louis led Vanessa back down the aisle under a flurry of confetti to the carriage that had been arranged for their tour Downriver. Aiding his wife in to the vehicle, Louis made sure her dress was not caught up anywhere as he took his seat beside her, his hand in hers as the carriage pulled away.

"Are you ready for your first public appearance as Mrs Clement? The future Lady Clement..." Louis asked, his voice and expression the perfect show of a man much younger than he was. The joy at hearing the words were enough to bring a light laugh from Louis' lips. Not because he found it funny, but sheer relief that this day had finally come in to being. "Vanessa Jhalak Clement..." He mused as the carriage pulled away from the Palace.



Tu es belle -- You are beautiful

___________________________________________

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles 2001   Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:06 am

The ceremony commenced flawlessly, the flashing lights and quite plumes of smoke from cameras capturing every moment of the bride and groom standing beside each other vowing their lives to the happiness of the other. Most of the shots would be dominated by either Louis’s emotional display or his new bride’s beaming smile, for once free of restraints and politeness, the happiness shining through the couple apparent even in the most lacking of picture quality. Life was the greatest picture ever taken, and this one couldn’t reign in the emotions with filters as much as it tried.

The line of people waiting to congratulate the couple was long enough to never end, fortunately, they didn’t have to stay to receive everyone. Grandmere shone in that moment, clearing the area and denoting where guests should go. To everyone’s surprise, even Aunt Lynnette joined in with the efforts after stepping briefly to congratulate her son and new good daughter. Vanessa had forgone the traditional custom of tossing her bouquet of irises and dahlias, something that was sure to make a statement as a modern, feminist move in the papers tomorrow but that hadn’t been her personal reason.

As they made in to the waiting carriage, Louis helping her up and inspiring another thousand camera clicks, the brunette couldn’t help but feel the sense of accomplishment she hadn’t in a long, long time. They had finally made it. Over the years, the hardships, the period of time where it was impossible to draw breathe let alone truly live, and they were on the other end. Now, no matter what life threw their way, they were together in the eyes of men and Gods. When her new husband posed that question, the witch closed her eyes, briefly resting her head fondly on his shoulder. “C’est tout ce que je voulais etre.” The words were more true than anyone save Louis would ever understand. The Gods had determined their match a long time ago, it was the world that had taken its time deciding the same.

The carriage began to move, the galloping slow enough for them to wave to their audience yet quick enough to not elongate their already considerable route. The streets outside the palace were almost as lavishly decorated as the insides, and the rest of Versailles competed too, putting out their best designs and decorations, posters and banners, sculptures and paintings, food decorations and street carvings to honor the new Lord and Lady Clement. Children ran behind the carriage tossing flower petals or colored rice in their wake, streamers flew from buildings congratulating the couples and now, alongside the media, there were common folks with their cameras. At one point, Vanessa looked at Louise softly as a little girl dressed in a bright red frock ran beside the carriage, Louis immediately ordering the vehicle to stop and reaching to lift the little girl in his arms and passing her to Vanessa. The bride placed a kiss on the girl’s forehead, adjusting her between the two adults as the carriage made a trip down the street, the cameras going insane as they took in the couple and the lucky child who was riding with them.

With the child safely returned to her parents and the carriage heading closer to their key destination, the Gardens of what was once known as Downriver, Vanessa could feel the anticipation building. This may have been partially for publicity but Downriver Grounds were sacred to a Clement who valued her history. And now she was a Clement too, in name as well as in every other aspect. These grounds were where the rebellion had been borne, where Lady Lissette, the first of her name, had steered the masses into backing the one House that would always have their interests at heart. it was here that Lord Thomas had chosen to really wed his bride in the true fashion of exchanging cloaks instead of the ceremony of upper class purebloods. And Vanessa was not the only one who remembered her history it seemed, for as they approached the colony once knows as Flint, several riders joined them, a boy and a girl atop each horse. Saluting to the new couple, the horses sped off ahead, announcing the arrival of the bride and groom in a tradition old as time in Flint.

As they made their way in, loud cheers rang throughout the street. It seemed someone had already initiated the rumble with exhausted couples falling over each other to win the old dance off. The drinking had also started judging by the number of unsteady people on their feet. It was impossible to tell who was magical and muggle in the throng of onlookers as everyone celebrated the new couple as one. Vanessa’s grey eyes sparkled with happiness as she took in the united crowd. Her ancestors had taken on a great challenge and an even greater responsibility, now it was her turn.

And she could only do it with Louis by her side.

It was well after sundown when the palace gates opened to admit the carriage back in, the bride and groom still as joyous as when they’d left that afternoon, their happiness keeping them awake and energized. The exhaustion would not take hold until they were safely inside the palace and ushered to their new rooms. The servants had made quick work of it all, getting ready the grandest suites in the main wing for the new couple. In keeping with tradition, Louis and Vanessa would not depart for a honeymoon, choosing to stay in France and travelling the country in the coming months, reacquainting House Clement with the masses.

There was a lot to do, the new bride reflected as her lady’s maids helped her undress. But none of it needed to be done tonight. Tonight, was for simply falling asleep peacefully for the first time in months.

___________________________________________

Come Plot With Me <3


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