rating: t for language, underage alcohol use?
summary: mary didn't think stealing a bottle of ogden's and going into the woods was something you do at weddings, but she certainly wasn't going to stop marlene from doing so.
notes: lionkate made me do it, and then it got too long for tumblr. you can blame her for everything (except my mistakes; those are strictly mine and maybe josie's because she read this over for me.).
Mary MacDonald's mother never really had time to teach her much. There was always too much going on in the house, too many girls to tend to, too few hours in a day - but Mary didn't mind. She learned what she wanted to when she could (cooking, mostly, but she could also patch up the most basic of injuries and learned that when you were, say, stabbed in the foot with a nail because you were chasing a boy barefoot do not remove the nail because then it will just bleed more and get to the doctor's right away, also, in case you have tetanus. or was it hepatitis?) and everything else was unimportant. She certainly never taught her proper wedding etiquette; you couldn't exactly bring seven young girls to a wedding, so Mary never had an opportunity to go.
Therefore, when Dorcas begged (in her own Dorcas way, for Dorcas Meadowes really did not beg like a proper human being) her four older friends to attend her sister Elfrida's wedding to Amos Diggory, Mary was slightly at a loss. Obviously not attending was out of the question, because all of her friends would be there and if they were there she most certainly could not not be there. She'd simply have to get by with little knowledge of what to do at a wedding and hope for the best. (Besides, it's not like Mary wasn't used to getting by with only cursory knowledge on most things, after all.)
Those four girls were cramped into the bathroom just off of Marlene McKinnon's room the summer before their seventh year, chatting and laughing and getting ready to be approved by Emmeline Vance's sharp, fashion-conscientious eye. Mary herself had finished, choosing a striped dress from Marly's wardrobe as she'd found all of her own sundresses inappropriate (various shades of white and cream were hardly suitable for a wedding, apparently, because then you distract from the bride, and you can't wear the same color as the wedding party, which ruled out her one yellow), so she sat in the empty bathtub, Lily Evans in her lap. The two were currently watching Marly and Emm argue over the Gryffindor's black strapless dress, trying very hard not to laugh (and failing, most of the time).
"Marlene, really, this dress," Emm held up a blue, pinstriped, double-breasted shirtdress with solid sash in the same color. "This dress would be much more suitable for a wedding. Honestly. Don't you think black -" She scowled at the word. "Is a little much?"
Marly simply raised an eyebrow and turned back to the mirror. "No."
Mary and Lily, of course, fell into a fit of giggles. Neither of them cared enough to fight with Emm when she picked out their clothes, but Marlene had started disagreeing just to annoy their friend - a great source of entertainment for the two Muggleborn girls. (At one point they'd considered the pair to be better than Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen, but that was quickly squelched once they returned home to their tellies.)
After shooting the peanut gallery a glare Emm continued to attempt to break down Marlene's resolve. Normally this was fighting a losing battle - Marly didn't feel like she needed anyone to dress her the way Emmeline particularly enjoyed - but after twenty minutes of nonsensical bickering the Ravenclaw won, using a slightly underhanded line.
"Don't you want to set a good example for Mary?"
The brunette in the tub scowled, chucking the nearest item (a bar of soap) at her friend. "Oy! I'm right here. And I'm older than Marly anyway, she doesn't need to set an example for me shut it Evans!" Mary's words were ignored (with the exception of the aforementioned Evans, who was outright laughing at her friends by this point) as Marlene took the dress with an eye roll and a look in Mary's direction.
Honestly, these fools. Mary knew she was a bit behind on a lot of things - well, most things, but she hardly needed her friends to be role models or anything. She thought she caught on to the wedding etiquette pretty well, anyway, so really, Emm was just trying to control everything, as per usual. At least Dork wasn't here because a) Mary wasn't sure Marly's bathroom could hold another person and b) Dork was quite possibly the most stubborn, argumentative person Mary knew. If Marly was this bad, imagine how Dorcas would be. (They probably wouldn't even be able to get Dorcas to attend, actually. If they did it would be kicking and screaming and quite possibly dragging, with lots of scowling and glaring and all sorts of other -ings Mary couldn't quite think of at the moment.) She was suddenly so very glad Dorky was with her sister at the Diggorys' already and not with them; there were only so many quarrels she could handle in one day, and they were surely in for a few more.
As Marlene changed, Mary looked at Lily and sighed. "I suppose we better get up for inspection," she said, her tone laden with false ennui. Lily matched her expression.
"I swear, she can be worse than McGonagall sometimes."
"Do you think she'll make us do laps around the house if there's a wrinkle, like she does with the Ravenclaw Quidditch team?"
"I wouldn't put it past her. Or perhaps she'll make us organize her closet!" Both girls wrinkled their noses, forgetting that they were only joking at their friend's expense (who happened to still be in the room with them). The idea of tackling Emm's very specific closet categorizing needs were not very high on either of their lists of fun things to spend a day doing. Mary didn't know her exact system, but she imagined it to be by color (light to dark for each one, in ROY G. BIV formation) and weather type. Imagine all of that work, and there was probably a fabric type section as well, and - A throat clearing brought Mary back to reality, and she met Emm's narrowed eyes with a bright, trademark Mary MacDonald smile.
The ceremony was, in a word, dull as a doorknob.
Well - Mary thought that was the phrase, and it was technically more than one word, but it was the most apt way to describe whatever it was she sat through. Honestly, if Lily hadn't been elbowing her the whole time (as Emm had banished Mary from her presence momentarily, the Mary-wrangling had been delegated to Lily, for Marly could not be trusted to keep the other girl from causing trouble), she easily would have fallen asleep. The only entertaining part was Dorcas's annoyed, tiresome expression throughout the thing, and also possibly making faces at the younger Ravenclaw from her seat in the back. Mary wasn't alone in this game of Making Dorcas Crack; all the girls were in on it, even Stuffy Captain Vance. She and Marlene had established a point system: one point for making Dork roll her eyes, two points for a glare, five points for a strained fighting-off-laughter expression, and ten for an actual giggle. The winner was, unfortunately, Marly with twelve points, who was sure not to let the other girls forget during the reception - aside from when she was flirting with both of the Prewett twins, friends of Frida's.
"Shamless. Absolutely shameless," Lily commented, half amused, half disbelieving, as the girls watched their friend flip her long, brown hair and throw her head back in laughter at something - Was that Gideon or Fabian? Mary could never tell the difference between the two of them. It didn't really matter, though, did it? Marly was obviously putting the moves on both (putting the moves on? She sounded like her mother) so she really only needed to know them as a pair.
"You should date one of the Prewetts, Lil, and have tall ginger babies with freckles and -"
"Impeccable flying skills -"
"Really, Emm, is that all you -"
"They're good Quidditch players! I played with them, I would kn -"
"Would you two stop?" Mary at least had the decency to look a bit sheepish, even if she was only trying to look out for Lily's best interests. (Ginger babies! With freckles! How on Earth could it possibly get better than that? Honestly, it had nothing to do with her former crush on James Potter, considering she was very much over him. She promised.) Lily took a sip of her pumpkin juice and looked at her friends from over the rim. "I'm not dating a Prewett. I hardly know either of them and even if I did, it seems as though Marly's got them both rather tied up."
The three girls looked back over to their fourth. Marlene was now picking at the food on the boys' plates, laughing as one of them (Merlin Mary really needed to learn how to tell them apart) slapped her hand away. Mary sighed and opened her mouth to respond (something about being impressed and disgusted at the same time), but was interrupted by an angry presence taking Marlene's seat.
"You are all the worst bloody friends."
Mary laughed. She wasn't - No malice was intended by her laughter, but Dorcas Meadowes just looked so grumpy in her bright yellow dress that it was all a bit ludicrous. "Yeah, Dork? How's that?" She asked, though she very well knew the answer. It was worth it just to see the death glare the younger Ravenclaw sent her.
"How's that? How's - Do you lot not realize that you were making faces at me the entire bloody - Unbelieve -" Docas seemed at a loss for words, and Mary was thrown into fresh giggles.
"Ignore her, Dork. She's been trouble all day," Emm said before things got out of hand. Mary rolled her eyes.
"I most certainly have not! Emm's just made because Lily and I teased her about her wardrobe organization." She gestured over to the redhead, who grinned just a little, though she kept her eyes on her plate.
"Don't forget the Captain bit."
"Oh, the Captain bit was gold - if I do say so myself, and I most certainly do."
"It's not like she hasn't talked about how much she absolutely loves being referred to as Captain -"
"Ever since she got the letter it's been Captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team -"
"- On and on about Captain Vance -"
"- Ushering in a new era of Quidditch -"
"- Exciting new strategies to beat the pants of Gryffindor, which -"
"- Hardly -"
"Would you two cut it out?" Emm cut through the two Gryffindor girls' monologue, grumbling into her goblet. "And I will beat Gryffindor, just you wait -"
"You all look like you need something stronger than pumpkin juice," a new voice said from behind Mary, a bottle of Ogden's Best Firewhiskey hovering in front of her face. Mary looked up to see the previously otherwise occupied Marlene with a grin like the Cheshire cat, waving the amber-tinted bottle at her friends.
Dorcas's eyes grew wide. "Marly!" She grabbed the bottle and hid it under the table. "While I am surprisingly more than intrigued by whatever you have planned, you can't just... Take a whole bottle and leave it for all to see! If my mum catches you she'll kill you, you're underage."
"Oh, bollocks, Dork. Fab got it for us! I was talking about how miserable you all looked and he disappeared - left me with Gid, and he got really quiet, but anyway - next thing I know he's got this bottle of firewhiskey and tells me to go have fun with you lot. Awfully nice of him, don't you think? Anyway - hi Mary," she said, kissing the top of her friend's head. (Mary kind of suspected Marly had had a firewhiskey or two already.) "Feel like getting completely sloshed?"
Mary didn't think stealing a bottle of Ogden's and going into the woods was something you do at weddings, but she certainly wasn't going to stop Marlene from doing so.
"I'm sorry I was so awful to you earlier, Emm, love."
They were sitting in the woods just behind the Diggorys' yard, hidden from sight by the massive elm trees that grew in the area. Mary was lounging on a rock, her head in Emmeline's lap, eyes closed and shoes long gone. "I didn't mean to be, promise. I was just bein' silly, I s'pose, but it came out much meaner. Right, Lil?"
"You sound terribly Scottish right now, Mary," the redhead sang from her perch a few feet up in one of the trees. She teetered ever so slightly and grabbed on to the branch, her knuckles white. "Who let me climb up here again?"
The four grounded girls looked up, mixtures of amusement and concern written on their faces. "We tried to talk you out of it, Lil," Dorcas called up. "But you were determined to see the top of the world -"
"And got to that branch before you were distracted by whatever song that was they were playing at the reception," Emmeline finished, her attention turning to Mary's hair. "Your hair is very shiny, Mary, did you realize?" She most certainly did - it was the trait she was most proud of, actually, because she barely used anything in her hair, and she was going to say so except Marlene cut her off.
"Whatever song, Emmeline? Whatever song?" They all groaned. Mary pinched Emm and sent her a telepathic "look what you've started!", hoping that she'd understand the look. Honestly, you'd think Emm would know better than to make comments like that about music in front of Marlene by now! Marly was obsessed with music, especially Muggle music, and it showed quite often. "Emmeline, that was 'The End' off Abbey Road! How do you not know that? I mean, I was surprised they played it at all, considering the guests are mostly purebloods and don't know a thing about Muggle music, but I suppose since your mum's a Muggleborn, Dork, she would know The Beatles, yeah? I'm awfully pleased she picked that track off the album, though, and not one that you hear all the time, and that she split it from the rest of the medley because I'm not entirely sure that's appropriate for a wedding, do you? And..."
And she was off. There would be no stopping her, Mary knew that much, but she was pretty sure she wanted no such thing anyway. In fact, she was perfectly happy, laying on this uncomfortable rock with her four best friends at the most boring wedding in the history of anything on a warm summer evening, and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
(Except maybe for Marlene to stop talking.)