Timeline, right after 'A Slip... part 1'.
The wedding hall at Gretna Green was filled to the brim with excited guests to witness the much-discussed wedding of Marcus Flint and Katie Bell. The Daily Prophet had been filled with ‘insider’ stories for months; most of them utter, nonsensical rubbish, of course. But who could blame Rita Skeeter for trying to have a piece of the pie; it wasn’t an everyday occurrence that the scion of one of the oldest Pureblood families married a simple Muggleborn girl, after all. Especially, since said scion broke a betrothal contract his parents had arranged for him with a well-known and loved society witch.
It had been quite the scandal. Aurelius Flint had never hidden his disdain for Muggleborns or the steady deconstruction of the olden wizarding ways. His son going against -no, stomping on everything Aurelius had taught him over the years, had nearly driven the man to an early grave. Therefore, his and his wife’s presence at the wedding was a big surprise to all the guests present, invited and otherwise.
The older couple posed for the reporters, in their mourning clothes and looking as if someone had pulverised their Kneazle kittens but still. They declined to answer any questions, most probably at the insistence of their son; the couple had the ability to make things worse with their words. The few times the Flints had talked to journalists about the matter of the ‘Muggle girl aggressively infiltrating into their family’, they had made a point of speaking about Miranda Yaxley as well, Marcus' former betrothed. They had praised the young witch’s every move whilst ignoring Katie's existence, the home wrecking, opportunistic harlot.
The older Flint always seemed to forget that Katie had been dating their son before the drafting of the betrothal contract between Miranda and Marcus. A signed and sealed contract they only told Marcus about after filing it with the Ministry. A petty reaction to his announcement that he had proposed to Katie a few months earlier.
No, the older Flints weren't all that nice and certainly weren't talking to the reporters today. But, the looks on their faces spoke volumes. Rita Skeeter was already sharpening her claws and quills, so to speak, to interview them the after the wedding. When the young couple would be conveniently on their honeymoon. All in the name of reporting the truth, of course.
Millicent didn’t need to sit next to her uncle to guess in what kind of mood he was. From the few times she had been in his presence, she had learnt that there were only two flavours to describe Aurelius Flint; foul and fouler. He was someone who, after more than twenty-three years, still refused to talk to his own sister or acknowledge his niece, after all. All because his sister chose to marry a Halfblood, a big no-no in the man’s book. It was something short of a miracle that Marcus had turned out with some likeable qualities.
Or, maybe he was not that much different from his father.
Millicent was quite sure that the main reason Marcus had invited her and her mother was to spite his father. It was a shame her mother had declined to come today. She would have loved to see old Aurelius' at seeing his estranged sister.
Millicent was sitting right behind her uncle, dressed in an uncomfortable lacy green frock, impatiently waiting for the wedding the start so they could move on to the reception. Aside from dying to get away from the negativity her uncle seemed to exude, she really needed to drown her sorrow and stupidity in all the liquor she could get her hands on. The morning with Theo had left a very bad taste in her mouth and she wanted to rid herself of it. How stupid had she been to blurt something like that? Of course, the words would spook him; she had broken the number one rule of their arrangement. No feelings, just shagging.
She glanced at her watch again. Like the other guest, she was getting restless and thirsty. The wedding was already an hour late to start. There was no groom or any of the groomsmen waiting at the end of the aisle, the Ministry official was nervously pacing up and down the aisle, and the bride was poking her veiled head from behind of the curtains every other minute. What was taking them so long?
Suddenly, the big oak doors opened and two men came running in. All heads turned in their direction as loud whispers wafted through the air. Millicent had to look twice to comprehend what she was seeing. Both men were wearing grass skirts, coconut bras, and both had flower crowns on their heads. Their presence and unusual attire caused some hilarity. The names ‘Pucey’ and ‘Higgs’ were being whispered around her. Marcus’ friends; that explained a lot. The consternation died as soon as the two men disappeared behind the curtains and an uneasy silence descended on the room. The disturbed looks on the men’s faces hadn't escaped the guests.
Millicent could only guess what was going on. Marcus and his friends tended to get in trouble whenever left unsupervised. The question was, how bad was it this time? Fortunately, she didn’t need to wait all too long for the answer.
“What do you mean you’ve lost him?” chimed in the bride’s angry voice through the silent hall. Seconds later, both Adrian and Terence sailed through the air across the aisle and crashed against the heavy oak doors. Katie appeared from behind the curtains, her white, puffy dress in stark contrast to angry her red face. Her chest heaved in fury as she stalked towards the two men, her sisters the bridesmaids running after her whilst begging her to stay calm. Katie wasn’t listening, though. She pointed her wand at the two men when she halted before them, already shooting burning sparks in her uncontrolled anger.
“You two idiots better find him before I make buttons out of your bones.”
Millicent felt sorry for Katie. Here she was thinking that she was having a shitty day. But, a lost groom on the day of his wedding was proof that it could always be so much worse.