Lyall and Hope walked down the isle of the old church between rows of empty seats. Only a few hands were clapping. Lyall's parents, his best man Scott, an old school friend, and Hope's brother. That was all. Never the less, they took it no less than any other wedding. Hope had draped herself in the most beautiful milky-white gown and wore her sapphire necklace. Her image was so breath taking that, Lyall had to admit, a tear rolled down his cheek.
There was no party, though. No food, no music. As soon as the newly wedded couple disappeared behind the tall doors of the church, they didn't look back. They just kept walking down the dirt road, admiring the tall trees around them as they walked deeper into the forest. The Welsh forest.
When Lyall woke up the next morning, Hope had already gone. From the looks of the rays of sunlight seeping through the thin curtains, he knew that it was well in the morning. It being a Monday, he was surely late for work. But that was just the thing. He wouldn't go today.
He descended down the short set of stairs that led down to the main floor. There was no sign of his wife. This was rather odd. It was ten thirty according to the tall grandfather clock that sat in the living room before him. Lyall was usually the one dragging her out of bed each morning. It was odd for her to be up so soon. But where was she?
He took a few paces into the kitchen. Everything seemed normal. Counters as clean as could be, a pile of cleaned dishes drying in a sink, and upon the table off to the side was a cup of coffee, buttered toast and this mornings Daily Prophet.
Lyall stepped up behind his usual chair and looked over at the font page. It spoke of a pack of Werewolves moving around the outskirts of London. There was a large moving photo beneath the first paragraph. It was taken in a dark alleyway of a dozen shady looking people standing together, must had been huddling around the fire in the background. But in the photo, they did not seem to have wanted their picture taken. Several of them looked as if they were about to lung out of the paper, probably trying to seize the camera man. Through the crowd of shadowy faces as they ran at the camera, Lyall's attention was caught by one man that still stood by the fire in the background. Because he stood so close to the light, unlike his comrades that seemed more worried about the camera, Lyall could see most of his features as he stared into the flames. It wasn't a pretty sight. His face appeared squashed together, as if it were caught in a constant snarl and his short beard over grown, nearly consuming his whole face. Lyall looked away from the paper in disgust. What outrageous brutes!
His attention was caught now by a crackling noise coming from behind him. He turned to see, above the floating wash cloth on the window sill was Hope's radio. She always listened to it when she worked in the kitchen. She must not have turned it off completely because all that spat out of its speakers were faint crackles of static.
Lyall stepped over and grabbed the radio and switched it off. But what took its place was singing. A faint voice, a happy voice. It was Hope Lyall placed the radio back to its usual place when he noticed her. Hope stood in the tall grass of the back yard. Instead of her hair being tied in an elegant knot, and her wearing her wedding dress, her long hair was weaved into a loose braid and she wore a simple, brown dress. In her hands, she grasped half a dozen bright red apples. Besides her quiet singing, one would have thought she was a statue. She did not move a muscle.
Lyall pushed the window open and was about to call her name when- A gentle breeze blew a loose strand of her hair out of the way. He saw them. From the forest walked a doe with her two fawns. Lyall fell silent and watched as the deer approached Hope.
He was astounded. The deer actually came right up to her. It was such a beautiful dance. The doe had lead her children very close to Hope, then, as if giving permission, she let the fawns approach her. They came forth, their beautiful white spots shimmering in the intense sunlight. Almost as quickly as they came, they retreated away from hope, each now with an apple in their mouths that they galloped around the yard with them proudly. Hope tossed the rest of the apples out in the lawn for them later. Hope gazed at the small family of deer for a moment, but she must have felt someone watching her, because she turned and looked directly at Lyall. She smiled, but her eyebrows narrowed in confusion.
"What is it?" She asked as she walked up to the window sill. Lyall blinked. Never before had he seen something so amazing. Without magic.
"How did you do that?" He asked.
"Just need to stand still and they will come to you," She answered simply.
"No, I know that. I've tried that so many times when that mother comes with her fawns at spring. But never did they approach. Why did they come to you?" Lyall was eager to know. Leaning against the window sill, Hope smiled as she looked into her husbands eyes and saw that he was serious.
"I guess they just trust me."
Lyall was astounded at how humble she was about it. Something so precise and careful done without a wand was something close to impossible in Lyall's eyes. But some things couldn't be achieved with magic. Maybe some of the most beautiful and miraculous things did not require it.